No Ground in Apartment. Anything to fix noise?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by BlackwaterPark4, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. IM4Tone

    IM4Tone Member

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    Could some of the noise be coming in via the wireless receiver?:dunno
     
  2. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    Do you have a remote control for turning on the amp, then?

    Seriously... don't f**k around with this. There is a reason folks are advocating for you to take immediate steps to ensure your safety.
     
  3. BlackwaterPark4

    BlackwaterPark4 Member

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    I didn't think I could get shocked from just turning on the amp honestly :-/. Crap. Honestly the landlord won't do anything and as others have said above he doesn't legally have to. I am moving in with the girlfriend in a few months, gonna check to see if her place is grounded haha and I guess I'll play acoustic for now.
     
  4. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm not familiar with the legality of it. Seems like due diligence would save the landlord from an expensive lawsuit... who knows? But I live across the Bay from you, and am aware of how high your rent must be. I sympathize that you can't even get a single grounded outlet for all your hard-earned cash. On the other hand, playing acoustic guitar for a couple of months shouldn't hurt, and can actually open up new vistas. And having a sweetheart to move in with sounds like pretty good times - congratulations!

    - T
     
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  5. SpiritShooter

    SpiritShooter Supporting Member

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    I missed the San Francisco part. Don't they have Chemtrails there?

    Maybe that's causing the noise.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  6. onetracker

    onetracker Member

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    I haven't read all the responses here so I apologize up front if this has already been recommended.
    I have old bx cable running to my outlets (c. 1955) and when installing 3 prong outlets I simply connected the ground lug on the new outlet to the outlet box. the other end is connected to the electrical panel which allows the bx cable sleeve to serve as the ground.

    you should never assume anything when it comes to home wiring. people do some ignorant stuff.
     
  7. SpiritShooter

    SpiritShooter Supporting Member

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    Per the NEC, BX Cable is NOT an acceptable ground. It's continuity if insufficient to be effective and safe.
     
  8. BlackwaterPark4

    BlackwaterPark4 Member

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    It just sucks when you're in a situation that causes you to not play your favorite instrument. I love my acoustic as well but I've sunk thousands into an awesome electric setup and now I gotta be without it for awhile due to some funky code laws in the city - I'm really surprised they don't make every single landlord ground their outlets for safety concerns such as this.
     
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  9. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

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    Two things. Light dimmers are the biggest noise makers I have encountered so if you have them turn those lights off when you play. Second, given the state of your wiring there is no assurance your hot and neutral are proper. If reversed and you have a three prong outlet or a polarized outlet (one big slot), then plugging in with a three prong or a polarized plug will generate a lot of noise. That is why old non-polarized Fender amps had polarity switches on the back. Plug em in and switch back and forth to find the low noise position. Low noise was the cue that usually meant you were wired correctly...for that outlet. Of course you could still get a shock if, for example, the PA was plugged into another outlet wired differently.

    If your hot and neutral are reversed and you have no polarity switch, you need a plug that allows you to flip the plug over in the socket to find the low noise position. Keeping in mind you don't want to die in the process. If you have any metal standpipes, radiators or plumbing around your amp or where you play guitar, I suggest touching the metal with the strings of your guitar and not your body parts to see if you see a spark. This is old school stuff that kept folks alive back in the day.

    Don't do anything non-code to the house wiring. And definitely not a do it yourself. Short of getting legal permission from the property owner and coming up with some larger bucks for a repair, the only other ways are to learn to do it as safe as possible or to move.

    hunter
     
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  10. northfortyrecords

    northfortyrecords Supporting Member

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    Not intending to highjack the thread, but I just wanted to mention what happened to me just two days ago.

    I've always had this one particular power strip that somehow isn't grounded. I keep forgetting to throw the darn thing away and it just turns up again from time to time. Anyway, two days ago I absent mindedly had two amps both plugged into that particular power strip. I went to go turn on the second amp with the first already running, while of course holding my guitar neck in my left hand. Zap! As I touched the power toggle switch of the second amp. I became the ground path between the two amps. I'm alive, but that was no fun.

    I threw it across the room into the garbage can!
     
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  11. old goat

    old goat Member

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    Non grounded wiring may be legal. Putting 3 prong receptacles in a non grounded system is not. At the very least the landlord needs to replace them with 2 prong GFCI's. (A gfci should cut the circuit if it detects any current going to ground--either through the receptacle ground, which you don't have, or through you, which would be painful but hopefully not for long.) In the meantime you should not be using any appliances that have 3 prong plugs, not just your amp. And no cheater plugs when he replaces the receptacle with 2 pronged.
     
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  12. GrungeMan

    GrungeMan Supporting Member

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    Not necessarily, today the municipal home water services are being installed with plastic water line which connects to, hey, a plastic main...no ground there. So if some or all of the underground service may have been replaced at sometime due to a repair or capitol works project even if the house has copper pipe there may not be ground if the copper or electrical is not connected to a ground plate/rod. With this plastic water pipe construction happening in the water industry many homes are without a proper ground, so a ground plate or rod needs to be connected to the home electrical panel. Better off moving to a home with proper electrical so your amp doesn't kill you, can't see the owner doing any major $$$ reno if it's not regulated by a municipal/state bylaw...
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
  13. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    hahahaha who care's about your amp ??????
    crazzzzzy and totally illegal where I come from.
    That building is a major fire trap.
    Get out of there before you become a victim
     
  14. Otto Tune

    Otto Tune Member

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    When that happens, half the country will be without power. "Honey, we have to throw out our refrigerator, look for a new one with a two prong plug."
     
  15. GilmourD

    GilmourD Member

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  16. Nickstrtcstr

    Nickstrtcstr Lactose Intolerant Guitar Slinger

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    Ground be damned. Ride the lightning!
     
  17. old goat

    old goat Member

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    You can use a cheater if the steel box itself is grounded--while metal conduit may not be an ideal ground it's better than nothing. Not sure how you would go about testing the box to see if it is grounded. If it is then the wire or tang on the cheater is grounded through the mounting screw for the cover plate. And yeah, most of the time we get away with using cheater plugs because most appliances are built well enough that there's no current going to the exposed parts. Mostly. Of course millions of people played amps with 2 prong chords (including me) for decades and very few of them died. My advice is what the OP should do, not what it is practical for him to do. If he is going to use cheater plugs on a non grounded box at least it should have a GFCI. Besides I'm not an electrician, so he shouldn't listen to me.
    (I am kind of an expert on crappy wiring. My old house had knob and tube, ungrounded. We were able to put in grounded outlets but the lighting is still ungrounded. My current house (no pun intended) has one exterior floodlight box that will still shock you when the breaker is off--I know it's the right breaker because the light won't turn on but you still get a shock. We had an electrician who couldn't figure it out. The house also had 2 electric water heaters which we replaced with gas. I turned off the breaker to the water heaters, fortunately about a week before the plumber came to remove them, because he found one still had hot water. Turns out there was a second breaker, unlablelled, and in a separate subpanel from the first water heater--the two water heaters were side by side). Oh, and all the receptacles were wired with the polarity reversed.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
  18. TEPR

    TEPR Member

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    This an informative thread!
     
  19. Ramblin Hymns

    Ramblin Hymns Member

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    old goat, it sounds like to me you have a ballast on that circuit or using the same ground going bad and feeding back to the outside light. I could also be the hot water heater or some motor. I've worked for over 40 years as an electrician but I hate getting in these discussions because to many people have to be right. Example: I was trying to find out why the door was shocking everyone that touched the trailer door and it was a ballast in a fluorescent light in another room and also in a fast food joint the table with the warmers would shock you if you touched the table beside it. (Stainless steel tables) It turned out to be one of the heating elements in the water that keeps food warm. One element was wearing out and was allowing 90 volts to ground. It didn't trip the breaker either. Electricity can do some funny things so this can give you something to think about.
     

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